It’s in the cards.

Tarot and Accuracy

By Psyche | December 8, 2008 | Leave a comment

A woman who reads playing cards recently acquired her first tarot deck, and made inquiries on a forum I participate in as to the difference in accuracy between the two, and the “difficulty”.

Frankly, such questions are frustrating as they are not terribly meaningful in and of themselves, but as someone who reads cards professionally myself (I’ve read tarot cards for more than ten years, and I read for various clients, at corporate events, private parties and fundraisers, as well as lecture on the subject), I can attest that they are common. It might help if we first separate fortune-telling from divination. Continue reading

Card Study

By Geno | February 20, 2002 | Leave a comment

From: geno@adonai.EBay.Sun.COM (Geno )
Subject: Re: Tarot card study
Date: 23 Sep 1993 04:19:47 GMT

<< 2) Study yr deck till you can picture precisely each card >>

<< Each to their own of course, but my feeling is that by studying the cards in advance you rob them of their “free will” by meeting them before the proper time. It also strikes me as a highly analytical approach for a non-analytical pursuit… >>

The cards do not have a will of their own. They’re a tool and nothing more. As with just about everything else, there is no “right” way that works best for everybody. Studying the deck isn’t really an analytical thing, it’s just a way of becoming completely familiar with it. You can give a good reading when you’re unfamiliar with a deck, but the drawback is that it will take you much longer to give the reading. Also, if you’re going to charge for your readings, it doesn’t make you look very competent if you’re constantly having to refer to your book to look up the cards.

When I first started, a reading would average 1 1/2 to 2 hours. That’s way too long. Of course, I started out just practicing on my friends, so they were patient with me. I also never asked for any money to do readings. Even after I became very proficient at it.

When it comes to knowing the deck, you’re really better off if you know the deck very well or don’t know it at all. If you become familiar with just part of the deck, or with just certain cards, you can change the reading from what it should be by subconsciously pulling those cards into it that you’re most familiar with. Then the person doesn’t get an accurate reading.

The 2nd problem is giving readings to people you know fairly well. What happens alot is that the cards may say something about that person which involves some drastic change in their life but you’ll look for some other interpretation because you know them and you tell yourself, “there’s no way this person’s going to quit their job or do this or that”. It’s very difficult to keep your personal knowledge about someone from having any influence in the way you interpret the cards.

My recommendation would be to become as familiar with the cards as you can. Also, spend a lot of time handling them. Keep them wrapped in silk and don’t let other people handle them unless you’re giving them a reading. Find the type of deck that you feel most comfortable with and use only that deck. When you’ve become very adept, then you can experiment with other types of decks.

<< Interesting. I know a lot of Tarot-philes who would agree with you that it is a ‘non-analytical’ pursuit. But historically, that’s not true at all. A lot, possibly most, of the symbolism built into, say, the Rider-Waite deck is based on Waite’s conception of the kabalah and how it relates to the Tarot. Since most of the decks now on the market are based on the Rider-Waite, to an extent they all incorporate this influence. The same could be said of the Crowley deck and its decendants, and between the two of them they probably account for 80% or so of the decks you could find. So all these decks are based very much on an ‘analytic’ approach to the Tarot. >>

Card Meditation for Major Arcana

By C D Burdorf | February 20, 2002 | Leave a comment

From: mascdb[at]gdr[dot]bath[dot]ac[dot].uk (C D Burdorf)
Subject: meditation techniques for Merlin Tarot
Date: 7 Oct 92 10:53:20 GMT

Ok, due to popular demand here it is.

This is the stuff from RJ Stewart’s workshop I attended two weeks ago on Merlin Tarot and Meditation. This is for meditating on the trumps only.

When meditating,

  1. Don’t use intense concentration
  2. Let your mind wander up and down and through the card
  3. First have your eyes open, then have your eyes closed.
  4. Build the image of the card in your mind without stepping into it.
  5. Then step into the card, feel the ground, temperature, smell the smells
  6. Set the card up about 10 feet away from you, take three steps towards it, imagine yourself walking into the card, sit behind it and meditate on being inside it, then walk out of the card.

Other techniques:

If there is a path on the card, walk your way up it. Work your way through the card

Dissolve the physical forms and concentrate on the powers and energies of the card.

Once inside the card turn around and look back out, it will give you a different perspective. Write your experiences down and meditate on them.

General pattern


It doesn’t have to be for a long time.

Meditate on the card before you go to sleep. It can make you dream about the card. Look at it again as soon as you wake up. Write down your dream and meditate on it.

When inside the card ask the people for advice if you wish. Pick a card that feels relevant to your problem.

Have fun,


Bad Cards

By Paul E. Meade | February 2, 2002 | Leave a comment

From: meade@twod.gsfc.nasa.gov (Paul E. Meade)
Subject: Re: posting of the tarot
Date: 2 Aug 1994 12:07:00 GMT


IMHO (but then, isn’t everything I post), NONE of the Tarot Cards (and especially not the Majors) are intrinsically good nor intrinsically bad. For example, I see the Hanged Man (often depicted a man hung upside down by one foot and not looking particularly distressed by it) as emblematic of a new, radically different point of view (the world turned upside down) which can lead to new insights (perhaps good, perhaps bad) about the world (or your life, or whatever). It reminds me of the fragment of Norse verse about Odin hanging ‘nine whole days’, pierced (with a spear?) and wounded, and coming away from the experience with an understanding of the runes.

Although this is not the standard line that you will find in BOOKS about the Tarot, I feel that it is most important for you to look at the cards and decide what they mean for YOU. After all, you are the one to whom they are going to be talking, so it’s best for you to establish the ‘language’ which they are going to use. And of course it’s not easy to decide what each and every card means – there are a few cards in my deck which don’t speak loudly to me, and I usually ‘go by the book’ for those cards. Curiously enough, I find that those cards don’t come up very often in readings. It’s also OK to let the meanings change over time as you become more familiar with the cards and more experienced at reading them – don’t think that the meanings that you assign to them now are set in stone for all time. Remember – the Tarot is a tool and how you use that tool is up to you.

One of my favourite cards is The Tower, which in my deck is depicted by as physical tower being struck by lightning and destroyed, while an a luminous extension of the tower continues to rise undamaged to a starry night sky. To me, this card perfectly embodies the idea of ‘per aspera ad astra’ (through difficulties to the stars), which is one of the most powerful images in my life – continuing on towards a higher goal in spite of mundane difficulties and pain.

- paul (meade@twod.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Tarot 101 (or ‘Lets get the discussion rolling’)

By Joe Teller | May 5, 2001 | Leave a comment

I’m writing this for several reasons, the first being the fact that I cannot deal with an EMPTY message area on a pagan-oriented topic and I hope that by starting things this will nudge everyone to join in and second to provide and receive information.

One of the most important things to remember is that the Tarot is easiest and usually best used as a personal psychological tool for yourself and for others. The cards have only what power and capability that you have put into them, and you must be willing to spend time to study your deck and its uses for hours at a time. Treat your deck as any tool that you would use for a long time that can be fragile, protect it from the extremes of weather and temperature, humidity and being battered about. Some people treat them as if they were children (practically) and this sort of attachment level can be dangerous. A deck is useful and valuable, but it is not indispensable! Attaching too much material value to them is bad to your personal psyche.

A second thing with decks is that most decks come with a tiny little booklet of supposed definitions by some publishing house formula, this is not true of all (The Mythic Deck, Voyager and a couple of others come with extensive interpretation information by the artists), but for the majority. In almost every case this is a virtually useless piece of trite and should be discarded.

To learn your deck (unless it is Mythic, Voyager etc) you should sit down with it and spend time looking at each card’s illustration, symbolism and the emotion you feel when looking at the card. Also look to see if there seems to be a continuing ‘story’ being shown thru the deck as you look at it. Most decks have such a story appearance when you look thru them carefully, with the same figures progressing along a path in a frame of perspective. This is not true of all, for instance the Morgans deck has no order nor story – it is designed with a controlled level of chaos in mind and flows fine when used within its own context, but is separate from most decks.

If the symbolism on the deck seems a bit too plain or doesn’t really stand out to you when you look at the majority of the cards, then the deck is probably not for you… Decks are designed with particular people in mind and not everyone can work the same decks. For a personal example, the Mythic deck, based on classic Greek mythology, flows easily to me, while a Voyager seems too cluttered to me with its collages. A Hanson-Roberts is a beautiful deck of story-tale art and pleasant, but a Toth strikes me as harsh and the symbology cruel and often painful. There are decks that consist merely of concepts in geometry, decks that are pornographic collections and decks that are in Black and white instead of colour. Find a deck that suits you best, take your time – your may go thru many decks before finding one that works for you, and may own several that work dependant on your personal moods at the time. Make sure you are comfortable with a deck before you try to take what it is telling you seriously.

Remember – only you can tell what you think a card will mean, even with a good artists explanation, the end judge and interpreter will be you. You aren’t going to be carrying around the authors books or references when you read – a reader who constantly must consult a book is a reader who hasn’t learned their deck and is uncomfortable with it. Only with a level of personal confidence in your understanding of the meanings will you get reliable results with the cards.

Joe Teller 1@5803 Wonderland BBS 508-663-6330

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